How is codification / cataloguing done ?
Codification / cataloguing is basically an
identification system for each item of the inventory.
There are often three broad approaches to developing a
suitable identification system :
As the name suggests ,this approach does not use any
design for codification. Rather , as and when an
item is received by Stores in its receiving bay,
a running and unique serial
number is assigned to it. This number becomes the
code of the item for subsequent use at different
stages. While this system is the easiest one to use,
it does not help in scientific management of
inventory. For example, say a particular spare part
of a machine is received in the stores and is
assigned a running unique number 999XXX as its code.
Then if the same item is received at any other
point of time the code number shall not be the same
i.e. 999XXX as by that time a lot many other items
might have entered into the firm and might also have
been assigned different running and unique code
making it impossible to assign a previous code to
Arbitrary approach is useable only where perhaps items
are non-repetitive and the inventory management need not
Also known as intelligent code system it assigns
code in a manner that the same item is not allotted two
different codes and also a code ,because of its design,
can be used to tell many things about an item.
The system uses either a numeric codification system or
an alphanumeric or mnemonic system. Under the numeric
system, a set of numeric code (length pre-decided) is
assigned to each item where different parts of the code
describe, of an item :
unique running number of that item
Location of storage
Suppliers' code etc.
For example :
the code of this item shall be a 10 digit code,
2145098344 and it shall remain always so for this
item. It shall then be easy to communicate about
this item among the concerned agencies.
Similarly ,there can be code using alpha numeric
value like AA223B234 with different alpha and
numerical value describing some pre-decided meaning.
It is also called mnemonic system. Both numeric and
mnemonic systems are symbolic systems as the codes
under it describe a symbol for identifying an item.
Since this code has certain logic it is also called
intelligent code and this system is in wide use
3.Use of Drawing numbers:
In many firms using complex drawings through
which part numbers etc are drawn, use their drawing
numbers as codes to identify an item. Since the
drawing number for a firm remains unique , assigning
a code on this basis assumes a unique code for that
item and hence confirms the requirement of unique
identification for the item.
Process of codification :
Decide if the firm wants to go for arbitrary
system, symbolic system or engineering drawing
List the inventory items
Define the class of items such as (for example...)
Belt and beltings
Bolts, nuts & washers
Brooms & brushes
Cans & containers
Chemicals & reagents
Cloth, leather & rubber
Oil & lubricants
Pipe & Pipe fittings
Tools & tackles
Define the sub class under each class
Depending upon the number of classes , their
subclasses and probable number of items under each
sub class decide the length of codes which shall
remain fixed for all the inventory items (10 digit,
Start assigning codes as per the detailed list
Who does the codification ?
Normally, it is the custodian who does the
codification for the items he keeps in his inventory.
However, in firms of substantial sizes where good number
of items are received on regular basis , codification is
usually done by a team consisting of representatives
drawn from Stores, user department and Industrial
engineering department. Still, for Automatic procurement
items the responsibility lies with the Stores
When codification ?
Codification identifies an item. Also it acts as a
communicating medium for an item among the different
users of that item in whatever way such as Stores, User
department, Planning department, Finance, Purchasing
Thus , as soon as the item enters into Stores (if item
is a new one), it is codified. Once codified, the same
code is used in the cycle of procurement,
throughout and for ever.